Seminole Tribe signs marketing agreements with five pari-mutuels ahead of sports betting launch

Seminole Tribe signs marketing agreements with five pari-mutuels ahead of sports betting launch

Seminole Tribe of Florida has confirmed that it has signed marketing agreements with five operators of pari-mutuels as part of its groundwork to launch sports betting services in the state. The federally-recognize tribe announced that it has entered marketing deals the Palm Beach Kennel Club, Hialeah Park Casino, Ocala Gainesville Poker & Ocala Breeder’s Sales, Tampa Bay Downs, and Tampa’s TGT Poker & Racebook.

Seminoles, which is involved in casino gaming, hospitality and entertainment through its gaming division Hard Rock International (HRI), enjoys a Class III gaming compact with the state of Florida. One of its popular gaming properties is Seminole Casino Brighton, which boasts a 27,000-square-foot casino equipped with more than 400 Las Vegas-style slot machines, live action blackjack electronic tables, a high-stakes bingo, a full-service restaurant and lounge.

The tribal gaming company is now preparing to launch sports betting, thanks to the amended gaming compact that it signed with the state earlier in 2021. The new gaming compact allows the tribal casino operator to offer retail and mobile sports betting statewide, build new casinos, and introduce new games like roulette at its existing gaming properties.

Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and chairman of HRI, said in a statement that the tribe remained committed to working with pari-mutuel operators as partners in the field of sports betting.

Speaking on the topic, Allen said, “They are an important component for the coming launch of sports betting throughout the state of Florida. We have already exceeded the Compact’s requirement for a minimum of three pari-mutuel agreements and we look forward to developing more relationships with pari-mutuels around Florida.”

The new gaming compact required the tribe to increase its tax payments to the state by 2 per cent to 15.75 per cent of its net win if it doesn’t secure three pari-mutuel partners within a period of three months of getting approval from the federal government. Earlier this month, the state received the first payment of $37 million from the tribe.

But, Seminoles’ statewide partnership with pari-mutuels as well as the mobile sports betting portions of the deal attracted lawsuits at the federal level. Two federal suits were filed by the Magic City Casino and the Bonita Springs Poker Room. Both of these suits were dismissed by a Florida federal judge last week.

However, Seminoles continue to insist that the new gaming compact between the federally-recognized tribe and the state is a mutually-beneficial deal for both sides as it has the potential to positively impact all Floridians through generation of new jobs and higher tax revenue for the state exchequer.